Baker v. Carr

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Baker v. Carr 

369 U.S. 186 (1962), forced the Tennessee legislature to reapportion itself on the basis of population, thus ending the excessively high representation of rural areas in the state legislature and establishing that the Supreme Court may intervene in apportionment cases. Traditionally, rural areas dominated Tennessee's and other states' legislative politics. In the Baker case, the Court held that every vote should carry equal weight regardless of a voter's place of residence. A subsequent ruling Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), built on Baker by requiring virtually every state legislature to be reapportioned, ultimately causing the political power in most state legislatures to shift from rural to urban areas.

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